Tests and Examinations For Your Newborn!
- 9 Months ago
Within hours after your baby is born, he will have to undergo various examinations to check whether he is doing well or not. Knowing what tests your doctor will perform on your baby will put you at ease. And as a new mother, you can be alert with what questions to ask. Read through to understand what tests your baby has to go through.
• Head: The common feature of a baby‘s head is it's squashed or molded appearance. It so happens because of it's journey through the birth canal.
• Eyes & Ears: The doctor examines the eyes of the baby for any obvious problems. As a routine examination, the baby's eyes are checked for red reflex through light from an ophthalmoscope. It takes a few weeks for the vision to be focused. Your baby can focus only up to 30 centimeters soon after birth. Most hospitals also offer hearing tests for babies.
• Mouth: The mouth is examined by putting a finger into the baby's mouth to check if the roof of the mouth (palate) is complete. A gap in the palate called cleft palate will make feeding difficult and will need a surgery.
• Heart: The baby's heart will be checked to rule out any heart murmurs or sounds. This is because, when the baby is in the womb, both the sides of the heart beat together. And when he takes his first birth, both sides function separately. The baby's heart beat is generally faster soon after birth, but settles down with time.
• Lungs: Baby's breathing pattern is observed. The examiner listens for clear air entry into both the lungs.
• Genitals: As the baby is exposed to maternal hormones, the genitals may look swollen at the time of birth. At times, the girl babies might have slight bloody white vaginal discharge, but will subside within the first few weeks.
• Skin: The doctor may examine for birth marks. He may also check for red and purple V-shaped marks on the back, neck and buttocks of the baby. These are common in new born babies and they usually disappear. Some babies have a yellowish tinge on their skin, which might indicate jaundice.
• Hand & Feet: Doctors will examine baby's hands and feet for clubbing. He will also examine the resting position of the feet and ankles to check for talipes or club foot. This is usually detected antenatally during the ultrasound.
• Spine and Hips: A baby's spine is assessed for straightness. It is common for babies to have a dimple at the end of the spine called sacral dimple. It is a matter of concern only when the dimple is too deep.
Baby's hips are checked for the stability of hip joints. The examiner checks for hip joint movements by opening the legs wide, bending and unbending them. If he finds any instability, he will suggest further investigation.
• Reflexes: Doctors examine for reflexes like sucking, rooting, grasping and crying.
Most newborns get through all the examinations with flying colors. Even if there are any minor concerns, it gets right on its own as they grow up. If the doctor feels that there are any major concerns, then he might ask you to take the baby for further investigations.